January 18.    Bernard had school friends of other religions and cultures and he was interested in their traditions and practices, i.e.  their culture. African tribes have traditions around life situations, birth, marriage, death. Muslims pray 5 times a day and fasting is one of their practices. Fasting was inherited from the Jewish religion and Catholics fast, mainly during Lent, while other Christians do not have a formal tradition of fasting.   He shared with his family later, “To achieve the goal of the common good it would be beneficial for a new, universal culture to be developed. Where can we start?” “We could start a St Francis fan club.” George suggested.   

At that time John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting and people came and said to Jesus, “Why do John’s disciples fast but your disciples do not fast.” Jesus said.  “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?  The time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast. Mark 2:18-22. 

Pope Francis: The word “culture” points to something deeply embedded within a people, its most cherished convictions and its way of life.  To speak of a “culture of encounter” means that we, as a people should be passionate about meeting others, seeking points of contact, building bridges, planning a project that includes everyone.  This calls for the ability to recognize other people’s right to be themselves and to be different.  This makes possible the creation of a social covenant. The subject is the people not simply one part of society.  FT 216 Reflect and share.